Michael Sheen Calls His ‘New Moon’ Character ‘Gentle On The Surface’

'But beneath, he is a psychopathic killer,' says the actor, who plays Volturi leader Aro.

In the “Twilight” universe, there’s no shortage of father figures. For tough, fair and loving, you have Bella’s dad, Charlie Swan. For a slightly better-looking, cooler paternal icon, there’s Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Now, Twilighters have a new one in 40-year-old veteran actor Michael Sheen.

We know that Sheen’s Aro isn’t technically the “father” of the Volturi clan, but in many ways, the star took his role as elder statesman on both sides of the camera very seriously. Recently, we caught up with the star of “Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Queen” and “Blood Diamond” to get his thoughts on the “Twilight” family, a “scary as hell” Dakota Fanning and all that RPattz insanity.

MTV: Michael, at MTV News, we’re obsessed with all things “Twilight,” and we recently premiered the new trailer . Have you seen it?

Michael Sheen: Yes, I did see it. I was amazed to see I was in there.

MTV: Have they shown you a cut of the film?

Sheen: No, nothing yet. I’m very excited about seeing it, as most people are — especially with my daughter, who is a big fan. I look forward to going to the premiere with her.

MTV: You must have a whole new fanbase now.

Sheen: I’m very big with the under-12s. They’re very big fans of “Frost/Nixon.”

MTV: Tell us about your character in “New Moon.”

Sheen: I play Aro. For people who aren’t fans of the books, I play one of the Volturi — somebody described it as being like the royal family of vampires, which I guess is a good description. He’s very calming on the surface, very gentle and soft on the surface. But beneath, he is a psychopathic killer. … He’s a great character, and I had a great time doing it.

MTV: When will we see Aro next?

Sheen: Well, he doesn’t appear in “Eclipse.” He appears again in “Breaking Dawn.”

MTV: Have they told you to set aside some time for that one?

Sheen: Who knows? Nothing has been spoken about yet.

MTV: We can also see some teases of a dark Dakota Fanning in the “New Moon” trailer. How is she in the film?

Sheen: She’s fantastic. She’s scary as hell, but she looks so sweet. She’s got a great character there. People are really going to love her.

MTV: You’ve worked with all kinds of actors. But is there anything quite like working with the maelstrom that is Robert Pattinson?

Sheen: [Laughs.] I don’t know how he copes with it all. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to deal with it when I was his age. He and Kristen are really amazing. They’re fully committed to what they’re doing, and I wish them all the best.

MTV: What’s the one “New Moon” scene you’re most excited to see come together?

Sheen: There’s a great scene that involves all of them. Robert, Kristen — Ashley is there as well. All the Volturi are there, and we’re on this amazing set, and there’s a lot of effects and stuff. I think that will be amazing.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

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